Lisbon must do must see must eat

Lisbon is one of the most vibrant European cities. It is sunny, friendly, cultural, and even low-cost! A city like Lisbon has endless interesting things for you to discover. Whether it is the ancient Alfama, or the iconic Belém Tower, Lisbon always has a place for you. Check out this ultimate list of 30 Things to do and places you must see, and discover the best of Lisbon!

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1. Jerónimos Monastery – A Memorial of the Age of Discovery

The Jerónimos Monastery was built in honor of Vasco de Gama’s historic voyage to India, and is now acclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In this exquisite monument to Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery, you will enjoy admiring its unique Portuguese Manueline architecture and visiting the Chapel of St Jerome, where you may find the tombs of Vasco de Gama as well as other historical Portuguese figures.

Jerónimos Monastery - Lisbon must see

2. Castelo de São Jorge – The Towering Ancient Castle

The Castelo de São Jorge (St George Castle) sits atop of the highest hill in the Alfama neighborhood and can hardly be overlooked as you stroll around the city. Not only does this ancient 11th century Moorish castle provides you with abundant history and stories, it also offers stunning vistas over the historic center of Lisbon and the Tagus River, making it a must see for every first-time visitor.

Castelo de São Jorge - must see

3. Belém Tower – A Tribute to the Age of Discovery

One emblematic monument of Lisbon not to miss out is the dazzling Belém Tower, the landmark of the Belém neighborhood, which can be enjoyed by joining one the walking tours. Built in the 16th century as a fortress to protect Lisbon’s port, the Manueline edifice now serves as a monument to that prime in history and is titled as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is THE place that tops the must see list of every tourist in Lisbon.

Belém Tower - must see

4. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Lisbon’s Treasure Chest

The topnotch Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is home to an abundance of priceless artworks from all over the world, including ancient Egyptian treasures, Qing porcelain, Marie Antoinette’s armchair, and European masters’ paintings. A visit to this museum will easily make you spend a half day to indulge yourself in the city’s treasure chest. The ticket costs only 10€.

Lisbon Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - must see5. Berardo Collection Museum – A Supreme Modern Gallery

The Berardo Collection Museum hosts one of the most acclaimed modern art collections in the world and is the most visited museum in Portugal. Founded by the Portuguese millionaire José Berardo, the well-designed gallery displays a compelling constellation of abstract, surrealist and pop art works including originals by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. It is undoubtedly a must see for any modern and contemporary art lover. The entrance ticket costs only 5€.

Lisbon Berardo Collection Museum - must see

6. Carmo Convent Ruins – The Withstanding Arches in the Earthquake

The skeletal ruins of the Carmo Convent is indeed among the most reminiscent of all Lisbon’s historical monuments. Demolished by the 1755 earthquake, the once prominent church now contains but the bare bones of surviving arches and pillars, along with the undestroyed chancel that houses Carmo Archeology Museum today. The peculiar presentation of Carmo Convent is what makes it so captivating, thus earning it a top-tier place on every traveler’s wish list.

Lisbon Carmo Convent Ruins - must see

7. Sé de Lisboa – The Must See Oldest Cathedral in Town

Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral), the cathedral with an imposing exterior, is the oldest and most important cathedral of the city, built in 1150 soon after Christians reclaimed the city from the Moors. Having survived multiple earthquakes and been rebuilt several times, the cathedral today is a mix of different architectural styles and includes an impressive Gothic cloister. It is an iconic ancient complex that every visitor should not miss.

Sé de Lisboa - Lisbon must see

8. Igreja de São Roque – The City’s Jewel Box

The Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) might deceive you with its modest façade. But once you enter, its extravagant interior embellished with gold, marble and azulejo tiles will render you speechless. It is home to the world’s most expensive chapel, which was constructed in Rome and blessed by the Pope, then disassembled and shipped to Lisbon in 1742. Simply a generous gathering of gold, gem stones and mosaic paintings. The Igreja de São Roque will afford you a unique church visit experience.

Lisbon Igreja de São Roque - must see

9.  Play a game to discover Lisbon’s hidden gems! 

Things to do in Lisbon - Discovery Games
Credit to Secret City Trails

Done following maps? Not really one for following a tour guide? Still want to experience the best of Lisbon? Play a riddle game to see the city’s hidden gems and unlock forgotten stories! Secret City Trails offers 5 different adventures in city’s historic neighbourhoods + another one in Belem! What are you waiting for?


10. Ponte 25 de Abril – The Red Ribbon across the Tagus

The Ponte 25 de Abril is a spectacular suspension bridge that connects the city of Lisbon and the municipality of Almada. It is often compared to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge due to its resemblance in color and structure. Nevertheless, looking at the scenery of the bridge and the Tagus River by the banks is absolutely enjoyable.

Lisbon Ponte 25 de Abril - must see

Just next to Ponte 25 de Abril is Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a stone-sculpted monolith to commemorate the Age of Discovery. The sculpture includes important Portuguese navigators, monks and cartographers. It would be an extra bonus to your snapshots of the bridge.

Lisbon Padrão dos Descobrimentos - must see

11. Sintra – Where Fairytales Exist

Sintra is a picturesque town full of colorful villas located northwest to Lisbon. The entire city is named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is famous for its fairytale-like Palácio da Pena and Palácio Nacional de Sintra. They are among the best places to see in Sintra and would make extremely instagramable snapshots! It would be a perfect day trip to just stroll around this mesmerizing town and admire the lush green landscapes along the hill. Sintra can be visited also with many day trips from Lisbon.

Sintra - Lisbon must see

12. National Azulejo Museum – An Insight to Portuguese Tiles

The National Azulejo Museum is the perfect place to admire the beauty of azulejos – decorative tiles. Housed in the church and cloisters of the sublime Igreja e Convento da Madre de Deus, the museum has every kind of azulejos imaginable. What is more, entry to the museum also includes access to the gold-smothered baroque chapel. It is definitely an exceptional museum unique to Portugal.

Lisbon National Azulejo Museum - Lisbon must see

13. National Pantheon of Santa Engrácia – A Striking Symmetry

The exquisite National Pantheon of Santa Engrácia has a beautiful interior that will make you awe at its design by the second you enter. From the highest points of the dome, you can have the best views over the stunning symmetrical interior. While at the Pantheon’s terrace, you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view over the ancient Alfama and the Tagus River. Absolutely a place of grandeur and a must go in Lisbon.

Lisbon National Pantheon of Santa Engrácia - Lisbon must see

14. Santa Justa Lift – Get High in Downtown

Soaring somewhat strangely among the bustling Baixa neighborhood, the Santa Justa Lift is a neo-Gothic elevator that is more than a century old and used to be powered by steam. The purpose of it is more than to merely absorb a panorama, but rather to serve as a public transport for commuters to get to Bairro Alto without climbing the hill. When you come to Lisbon, do not miss this exclusive elevator experience and enjoy the wonderful view over the city’s skyline!

Lisbon Santa Justa Lift -Lisbon must see

15. Lisbon Oceanarium – Visit the World-Class Aquarium

The Lisbon Oceanarium is among the best and the largest aquariums in the world. With 8000 marine creatures and 7 million litres of seawater, it is home to an inconceivable array of fish and marine animals, including curious creatures such as grey nurse sharks, devil fish, sunfish and clownfish. The Oceanarium offers a mind-blowing experience with its gigantic tank that makes you feel as if you are underwater. It is the most popular attraction for families, and most of all an all-time must do in Lisbon.

Lisbon Oceanarium - Lisbon must see

16. Bairro Alto – Live the Night in Lisbon

Bairro Alto is the core of Lisbon’s nightlife. Once the hub for Lisbon’s bohemians, Bairro Alto today has a high concentration of bars and clubs. From traditional wine bars to glamorous rooftops, there is always a place for you. Otherwise, you can also just chill in the streets where you will never find yourself alone. After midnight, the streets are always full of people. The extremely friendly atmosphere will show you a good time.

Lisbon Bairro Alto Nightlife - Lisbon must see

17. Cascais – Relax on a Pristine Beach

Cascais and the other neighboring beach towns along the Cascais train line are the best seaside suburbs of Lisbon. Once a small fishing village, Cascais is now a hot spot for weekend getaways. Whether you want to stroll around the colourful old town, or enjoy a sunbath on a fine dazzling beach, this place will not disappoint you. A holiday to Lisbon without visiting Cascais is far short of being complete. Don’t forget to put it on your must do list!

Cascais - Lisbon must see

18. Tram 28 – Explore the City on a Vintage Tram

Riding the famous Tram 28 has to be one of the most charming ways to explore the city of Lisbon. The vintage carriage will take you on a tourist-friendly route which passes through renowned neighborhoods such as Alfama, Baixa and Bairro Alto as well as popular attractions like Castelo de São Jorge. Besides, riding the old tram itself is part of the experience. It is absolutely the top thing to do in Lisbon.

Lisbon Tram 28 - Lisbon must see

19. Arrábida Natural Park – Get Close to Mother Nature

If you love nature, fine beaches and wildlife, the Arrábida Natural Park is perfect for you in every way. Recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage site, the Arrábida National Park offers breath-taking mountain views, extremely clean white sand beaches and a unique flora and fauna to discover. You will fall in love with its magical panoramas! Moreover, it is a great place for outdoor activities like trekking, cycling and snorkeling. All in all, it will make an ideal weekend trip for your Lisbon visit!

Arrábida Natural Park - Lisbon must see

20. Praça do Comércio – Climb the 18th Century Arch

One of Lisbon’s iconic sites – Praça do Comércio – is a beautiful square bonding the scenic views of the seaside and the grand Rua Augusta Arch. A walk from the plaza to the waterfront would afford one with many interesting sights.

Lisbon Praça do Comércio -Lisbon must see

If you are ambitious, climbing the Rua Augusta Arch will ensure you a nice bird-view over the plaza and the water.

Praça do Comércio - Lisbon must see

21. Alfama – Get Lost in the Ancient Maze

The oldest and most traditional neighborhood in Lisbon, Alfama, is characterised by narrow winding streets ribboning the hill that leads to Castelo de São Jorge. Alfama is one of the only neighborhoods that wasn’t destroyed by the detrimental earthquake in 1775, and has kept the essence of old Lisbon.

Alfama - Get Lost in the Ancient Maze - Lisbon must see

Here you will find dozens of small shops, restaurants and some traditional Fado clubs. For every visitor in Lisbon, walking around Alfama is the top place to visit in Lisbon.

Alfama -Lisbon must see

One best vantage point is the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, where you can enjoy an amazing panorama over the city and the Tagus River.

22. Fado – Listen to Traditional Portuguese Tunes

Fado is a traditional Portuguese art, mixing the soulful tunes of singers and the expressive flows of classical guitars. The music is loosely captured by the Portuguese word saudade, symbolizing a feeling of loss. There are several locations where you can enjoy a Fado show, mainly located in the center of Lisbon (Chiado – Alfama). It can be a great opportunity to taste a proper Portuguese dinner and also admire the surroundings by simply walking around the narrow streets.

Fado concert in Lisbon - Lisbon must see

23. Estádio da Luz – Watch an Exciting Soccer Game

Portuguese people are passionate about soccer. A trip to Lisbon during a soccer season will let you see the city behind its touristic façades. Watch a local game at Estádio da Luz, one of the best football stadiums in Europe located in the north of Lisbon, is an exciting experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. It is possible to visit the stadium

Lisbon Estádio da Luz - Lisbon must see

24. Pastéis de Belém – The One and Only Pastry You Need

There is nothing like Pastéis de Belém. It makes you nostalgic of its taste as soon as you finish it. The moment you take a bite – crispy crunch, lusciously rich mixture of custard, sugar and egg – you know you are gonna have more than just one. You may find other custard tarts all over the city, but only Pastéis de Belém is the original and the best. It is a perfect place for breakfast or brunch and always a must eat no matter how many times you visit Lisbon. A tip is to get there before 10am to avoid the long queue, especially during weekends.

Pastéis de Belém - Lisbon must see

25. Bifana – The Best Sandwich in Town

Speaking of the most typical sandwich in Portugal, you would not want to miss the tasty bifana. Usually enjoyed as a snack with beer, it is a pork sandwich comprises of a crusty bread roll with a juicy pork chop seasoned with spice and garlic – a perfect mix of crisp and mush. The Bifana is so popular that you can find it almost everywhere across the country. Forget burgers, grab a bifana while you are in Lisbon!

Lisbon Bifana Sandwich - Lisbon must see

26. Ginjinha – The Portuguese Favorite Liqueur

Ginjinha, or simply Ginja, is a sour-cherry liqueur made with infusing ginja berries, usually served in a shot glass. It is a very typical drink in Lisbon and the favorite liqueur of many Portuguese people. You can choose to order one with a cherry inside – “ginjinha com ginja”, or one without – “ginjinha sem ginja”. Another choice is to have it served in a chocolate cup. Simply an amazing drink.

Ginjinha - The Portuguese Favorite Liqueur - Lisbon must see

27. Bacalhau à Brás – The Must Eat National Fish

Bacalhau (dried codfish) is THE fish of Portugal. They have hundreds of ways to prepare bacalhau and you can simply eat it every day in a year without repeating the recipe. One of the most traditional bacalhau dishes is Bacalhau à Brás – shredded codfish with scrambled eggs, olives and thin potato fries – which is great comfort food. It would be a mistake if you come to Lisbon and don’t try this extremely typical dish. 😉

Bacalhau à Brás - Lisbon must see

28. Arroz de Marisco – Delicacies from the Atlantic

The long coastline on the Atlantic makes Portugal abundant in fresh seafood. One of the must try seafood dishes in Lisbon is Arroz de Marisco, a saucy Portuguese seafood rice prepared with typical Portuguese spices like garlic and piri-piri. It usually includes crabs, clams, shrimps and mussels and has more sauce than the Spanish paella. If you love seafood, this is the dish to start with.

Arroz de Marisco - Lisbon must see

29. Polvo à Lagareiro – The Freshest Way to Eat Octopus

Octopus is another common seafood in Lisbon. One of the main dishes is Polvo à Lagareiro, with à Lagareiro meaning “in the style of the olive oil presser”. Fresh octopus tentacles are grilled in drizzles of olive oil, flavored with garlic and salt, served with grilled potatoes on the side. The recipe is simple, but it draws out the best freshness from the sea.

Polvo à Lagareiro - Lisbon must see

30. Time-Out Market – The First-of-Its-Kind Gourmet Market

If you are a foodie, Time-Out Market is the place for you! Every restaurant, café and every dish has been tasted and tested. You can really tell by the quality. They are the essence of the best foods in Lisbon. With more than 30 restaurants and bars and dozens of shops on offer, Time-Out Market is the first market in the world where everything is selected. It offers all the tastes of Lisbon just under one roof. Definitely a must try!

Lisbon TimeOut Market - Lisbon must see

Which one is your favorite? Have you visited or tried any one before? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Lisbon must see


Top 30 Must see, Must do and Must Eat in Lisbon
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